Last month Sarah Darcel went to Maui as a promising member of Island Swimming club and the Swimming NextGen program. She came home with three medals, two Olympic standards and is now a member of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre.
You might call that a pretty good finish to the summer.
Darcel, a Grade 12 Claremont secondary student, is now under the watch of head coach Ryan Mallette, the guy who coaches those other athletes, the ones with the Olympic medals, Hilary Caldwell and Ryan Cochrane.
Darcel broke through with her best results yet as a member of Team Canada at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Maui, Aug. 24 to 27.
She won gold in the 400-metre individual medley, silver as part of the 4x100m free relay team and silver as part of the 4x100m medley relay team.
“The energy was super high and considering what our girls had done in Rio [two Olympic relay bronzes], it just amped us up,” Darcel told Swimming Canada. “We all sat in a circle beforehand and all said something positive.”
The meet went a lot better than Darcel was expecting, and was a matter of redemption.
She was disappointed with her previous experiences at the Canadian Swimming Championships and Junior Worlds.
Following that, she and her coach Brad Dingey of the NextGen program got right back to work on making it better for Junior Pan Pacs.
“Junior worlds was not too good for me and I wanted to make this meet count,” Darcel said. “For my 400 IM, I knew what was possible for me and I went all in for that. I’m really looking forward to training with the centre [HPC-Victoria] and [coach] Ryan Mallette and seeing where we go from there.”